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Which do you think is more accurate- Zillow or Realtor dot com?

 I’m not trying to suggest that either of them is spot on. It’s just that they’re showing a pretty big gap for my estimated value and I’m curious.

Yes, I know that talking to an agent is the most accurate. 

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I don't know which is more accurate, but I know on Realtor they have a graph that shows 3 or 4 different analysis, which show that particular house value over a period of several months or years. I'd rather use a figure that was an aggregate of several analyses than just one.

Edited by HeartString
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Well, I don't know that either are accurate. Disclaimer. We bought our house in 1997, so that may make a difference. But realtor.com says we don't have a house and just 25 acres of land that they value at 189,000.  We actually have a 3500 square foot house and 50 acres of land.  Zillow doesn't have any info about our house other than square footage which is really close ( actually we may have a little under the 3500) and has ours for 432,000. Don't know if that includes the land or just the house.  But yeah, we spent 300,000 for the house and 50 acres. 

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I'd say an average of a few online estimates is likely to be about as accurate as you can get.

ETA: I was curious so I just looked at ours on both. Zillow's is 60k higher. Realtor's is closer to the property value for taxes. It's hard to say because homes around mine are going for the Zillow cost and even more for sure, but my house is less updated than many. Again, with just a single data point, Zillow's seems to be taking the strength of the selling market into account more accurately, while Realtor's is more conservative.

Edited by Farrar
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I have not found one or the other to be consistently more accurate.  The both are more accurate in neighborhoods with very similar houses and in which a number of sells have recently taken place.  In older neighborhoods, where some houses have had additions and very different features, I have found them to be less useful--sometimes one is way off and sometimes the other is.

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The values in our area & the area we may move next have fluctuated so much that Zillow won’t give an estimate at all any more. 

If you want to know a close value look at the houses in the same elementary school zone, with similar features & in similar condition that’s closed in the past 30 days. Then take the price per square foot & figure out a value range from that.

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40 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

Well, I don't know that either are accurate. Disclaimer. We bought our house in 1997, so that may make a difference. But realtor.com says we don't have a house and just 25 acres of land that they value at 189,000.  We actually have a 3500 square foot house and 50 acres of land.  Zillow doesn't have any info about our house other than square footage which is really close ( actually we may have a little under the 3500) and has ours for 432,000. Don't know if that includes the land or just the house.  But yeah, we spent 300,000 for the house and 50 acres. 

Did you build that house?  A lot of times it won’t show up until there is a sale.  

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Just now, Scarlett said:

Did you build that house?  A lot of times it won’t show up until there is a sale.  

No, it was sold by the builder who had lived in it for 2 years. We are the 2nd owner. But once again, that was back in 1997.

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We live in a suburban neighborhood with houses selling that are similar to ours. Zillow values our house about 50K higher than Realtor.com and from what I've seen, Zillow's estimate is much closer to what selling prices are around me right now.

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2 minutes ago, TexasProud said:

No, it was sold by the builder who had lived in it for 2 years. We are the 2nd owner. But once again, that was back in 1997.

Interesting. I guess because it was so many years ago.  

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It’s wild there is so much fluctuation. We’ve had several houses here sold in the past two months and we’re putting ours on the market the end of September. Ours is listed as 315,000 (Zillow), 270,000 (Realtor), and 290,000 (Redfin). Based on what’s been selling, I feel ours would go for about 300 so Redfin is closest. I guess so much of this is area specific and what/how much has been selling there. 

Edited by Joker2
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For me: Redfin was lowest, Realtor mid, Zillow highest.  There was a $30,000 spread.  

When I had my house appraised in winter for a refinance, Zillow was within $10,000 off the appraisal. Houses in our area have been going for well above appraised value for the past year, so it is skewing the appraisals right now. For people who want to take out cash to do household projects that is great! But for me, who was giving my x-h money for his share of the house, it was bad timing for inflated value.

Edited by Tap
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I live in a "hot market" where every house elicits a bidding war. Both our current house and our rental house are given the highest value by Zillow and the lowest by Realtor. Current house has a 33,000 spread, rental house has a 64,000 spread. For context, our rental house is in a "bad part of town." The house across the street from it, a 770 sq ft 2/1 was listed for 299,000 this past spring, and sold for 380,000. 

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I think that all of those algorithms work better when the comps are, well, comparable.  So if the house is in a neighborhood with a bunch of identical houses, the estimate will probably be better than if it's for a house in an area with a wide range of homes from different eras on vastly different lot sizes with different attributes (waterfront, non-buildable wetlands, forested, open with view of the mountains vs the neighbor's mess of blackberry vines, etc).

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9 minutes ago, mellifera33 said:

I live in a "hot market" where every house elicits a bidding war. Both our current house and our rental house are given the highest value by Zillow and the lowest by Realtor. Current house has a 33,000 spread, rental house has a 64,000 spread. For context, our rental house is in a "bad part of town." The house across the street from it, a 770 sq ft 2/1 was listed for 299,000 this past spring, and sold for 380,000. 

I needed a shocked face emoji. Lol

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2 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

I needed a shocked face emoji. Lol

My husband was following the saga of the house across the street every day. I knew when the sold price hit the public records because I heard him laughing hysterically at the computer. 

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25 minutes ago, mellifera33 said:

I live in a "hot market" where every house elicits a bidding war. Both our current house and our rental house are given the highest value by Zillow and the lowest by Realtor. Current house has a 33,000 spread, rental house has a 64,000 spread. For context, our rental house is in a "bad part of town." The house across the street from it, a 770 sq ft 2/1 was listed for 299,000 this past spring, and sold for 380,000. 

That is how it is here too (outside Portland Oregon). When my xh was shopping for houses, his realtor told him to not bother putting in an offer unless it was $50,000 or more over asking price. He wasn't looking at very nice houses...Just a standard house 1500sqft+, regular size lot (apx 6000sqft). He wasn't too picky about neighborhood since he doesn't have young kids.  He finally stumbled on to a house before it went on the market in a lower-mid-level neighborhood. The deal with the seller was: ASIS, no inspection, no delay. His friend knows the owner, so he knew the owner wasn't unethical.  He just had to pay the overinflated asking price and go. He went for it and got a house for $425,000. He is just happy to have a house! I think he still got an inspection, just to make sure there wasn't anything grossly wrong with it. But if he backed out at any time, he would have lost his substantial earnest money. The same house would have been *maybe $300,000 2 years ago.

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Interesting!  Here, Zillow and Realtor are almost identical.  Redfin is about $50K lower on our house.  And our bank offers a service to track home values - they estimate right in the middle.

Homes in our area are selling very quickly, for asking or above asking.

Our home’s value has really skyrocketed.  I would hate to be house shopping in our area right now, it feels like we’d be buying at the top of the bubble.  I can’t imagine values staying this high.  (Somewhat envious of people in a position to sell and relocate to a lower COL area!)

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49 minutes ago, EKS said:

different attributes (waterfront, non-buildable wetlands, forested, open with view of the mountains vs the neighbor's mess of blackberry vines, etc).

In my area (SF Bay Area), it really seems to only matter neighborhood and size, but the prices are so over-inflated it's hard to tell. 

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3 hours ago, Katy said:

The values in our area & the area we may move next have fluctuated so much that Zillow won’t give an estimate at all any more. 

If you want to know a close value look at the houses in the same elementary school zone, with similar features & in similar condition that’s closed in the past 30 days. Then take the price per square foot & figure out a value range from that.

With so many listings forgoing pictures, it’s next to impossible. There are what I can assume to be dumps for <100k to 120ish, and others getting close to 300, all in the same basic architecture, but few that show their actual condition  

Our area isn’t densely populated enough to pull much from a small radius, and our schools cover a wide range of neighborhoods. It’s a very weird area, lol.

My online estimates are $175-200k, but I know we’re going to go lower for things like my refusal to try to replace decking!

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1 minute ago, Carrie12345 said:

With so many listings forgoing pictures, it’s next to impossible. There are what I can assume to be dumps for <100k to 120ish, and others getting close to 300, all in the same basic architecture, but few that show their actual condition  

Our area isn’t densely populated enough to pull much from a small radius, and our schools cover a wide range of neighborhoods. It’s a very weird area, lol.

My online estimates are $175-200k, but I know we’re going to go lower for things like my refusal to try to replace decking!

I'd guess $165-175 in that case, and if it goes higher great.

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3 hours ago, Joker2 said:

Redfin has been the most accurate for houses selling in my neighborhood. I think it’s pretty accurate for our home too and seems to be in the middle of Zillow and Realtor.

In our case, Zillow & Realtor are pretty close (Realtor is 95% of Zillow), but Redfin is 121% of Zillow and likely very inflated vs reality even in this Seller's market. 45k difference between highest (Redfin) & lowest (Realtor).

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The spread between the 3 for us is about $38K with redfin being the lowest and Realtor the highest (although Zillow and Realtor are only about $3k apart).  Our house is a split level and when we bought it we only finished the upper level and then a couple of years later finished the lower level.  Zillow shows the house size as the square footage of only the upstairs but it does include the correct number of bedrooms some of which are in the finished lower level.  So I wonder how much higher Zillow would estimate our house if actually had the correct square footage (it's missing about 800 square feet of finished space). The other 2 sites have the correct square footage.  All 3 of them are quite a bit more than the appraised value for taxes although I've always heard that our city undervalues property for tax assessment since they don't want to deal with homeowners fighting about the value of the house and then having to reconfigure their tax every year.

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59 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Houses in my neighborhood are going up $10,000-15,000/month and there is super low inventory here. My house is showing a $15k spread among the suggested values but I am pretty sure I could get the highest amount. 

Yeah, mine’s currently up 12ish in the past 30 days. I’ve been worried that lifting the foreclosure moratorium is going to mess with all of that. I’m hoping we get listed well enough before the new extended date, but we still won’t be able to offer a quick move date, so… Blech. 

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What is most accurate is looking at actual sale prices in your neighborhood that are quite recent, and adjusting for variations from your house (in major stuff like square footage, busy street or not, recent significant remodeling, etc.).

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18 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

What is most accurate is looking at actual sale prices in your neighborhood that are quite recent, and adjusting for variations from your house (in major stuff like square footage, busy street or not, recent significant remodeling, etc.).

Isn’t that what these websites are doing? They are just using different algorithms to do so. When we have had to do corporate moves which require three different suggested pricing with case analysis they have had similar scattering. Our neighborhood has had 15-20 sales within a few blocks of me in the last 6 months which is why the pricing is so close. These houses are all very similar in age and characteristics (wood floors, granite countertops, etc.)  so that also contributes to the algorithms pricing closely. The houses that are selling more are the ones who have some non-calculable to the algorithm value: professional staging, preferred placement on the street, better landscaping.

Fwiw, I am not far from Tap and properties here are selling within 48 hours with over a dozen bids and people buying sight unseen $50-100k over asking. It’s a feeding frenzy because almost all of the new construction is over $1mill in my ‘hood or it’s multi-family. Single family detached under $700k are rare gems.
 

 

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34 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

What is most accurate is looking at actual sale prices in your neighborhood that are quite recent, and adjusting for variations from your house (in major stuff like square footage, busy street or not, recent significant remodeling, etc.).

I’m aware, and will be hiring a real estate agent to use her professional knowledge of our atypical location. I don’t know how to make that any clearer than I have. 

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13 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Fwiw, I am not far from Tap and properties here are selling within 48 hours with over a dozen bids and people buying sight unseen $50-100k over asking. 

I have literally had dreams about being in that situation, lol. 😄
Things do still look to be chugging along nicely in our market, but definitely not to that extent. The dreams are fun though!

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It might also be helpful to look up houses in your neighborhood that have recently sold or are currently on the market with a reputable realtor and see how they compare?

Between redfin, realtor.com and zillow everything on ours is within 15K.  Which is really close considering the value of our house is now well over 500K (and yes that it absolutely bonkers for a 2000 sq ft 3 bedroom 🤪🙄 Let's just say we bought at the right time.)

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32 minutes ago, Carrie12345 said:

I’m aware, and will be hiring a real estate agent to use her professional knowledge of our atypical location. I don’t know how to make that any clearer than I have. 

I’m not suggesting that you aren’t.  What I’m suggesting is to look on realtor.com and see the actual sale prices and get an idea for yourself in addition to that.  Realtors vary a lot in their estimates, and they don’t necessarily use all the comps or the same comps as each other.  I’ve seen realtors quote a high list price to sort of lure people into listing, and quote a low one to make a quick sale, and everything in between.  I would not want to go into a transaction this big without having my own idea, even if I never articulate it, of what is the likely value of something I’m buying or selling, and that comes from the selling patterns and the recent comps.

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1 hour ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I’m not suggesting that you aren’t.  What I’m suggesting is to look on realtor.com and see the actual sale prices and get an idea for yourself in addition to that.  Realtors vary a lot in their estimates, and they don’t necessarily use all the comps or the same comps as each other.  I’ve seen realtors quote a high list price to sort of lure people into listing, and quote a low one to make a quick sale, and everything in between.  I would not want to go into a transaction this big without having my own idea, even if I never articulate it, of what is the likely value of something I’m buying or selling, and that comes from the selling patterns and the recent comps.

As I said, “comps” (in as much as I can see with limited photos) are listed from $80k to nearly 300.  There’s very little logic. 
Sale prices (back in May, June is full of pendings) have been from about 5-20 over, and also 5-40 UNDER.

So, yeah. I was just curious about which site seemed to be more accurate in other people’s experience. 

Personally, I’m just looking forward to offloading. We were under water for almost a decade after the last bubble, so profit’s just icing!

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When we started driving around, even just to look at outsides, we could see a lot more about where prices were coming from.

One house, for example, had a shared driveway and half the backyard was an easement with a concrete drainage ditch.  We could not see any of that from the picture.  

We went inside that house, and it also had a very small kitchen with obviously stick-on tile back splashes.  The stick-on tile looked like a child’s craft project.

The layout was also very choppy.

None of that was visible from the Internet, and that was our favorite house when we were looking online.

If you can even drive around, that will go a long way, with seeing specific locations.

When we don’t tour the inside, and know houses are comparable from the listing and the location and seeing the outside — at that point we assume there are big differences on the inside, that are not shown in the pictures online.

If you can go to any open houses, that can go a long way.  
 

Right now hot houses are not having open houses here, they are having sealed bids accepted without even doing any showings.  So it would be really hard right now!!!!!!!!

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12 minutes ago, Lecka said:

When we started driving around, even just to look at outsides, we could see a lot more about where prices were coming from.

One house, for example, had a shared driveway and half the backyard was an easement with a concrete drainage ditch.  We could not see any of that from the picture.  

We went inside that house, and it also had a very small kitchen with obviously stick-on tile back splashes.  The stick-on tile looked like a child’s craft project.

The layout was also very choppy.

None of that was visible from the Internet, and that was our favorite house when we were looking online.

If you can even drive around, that will go a long way, with seeing specific locations.

When we don’t tour the inside, and know houses are comparable from the listing and the location and seeing the outside — at that point we assume there are big differences on the inside, that are not shown in the pictures online.

If you can go to any open houses, that can go a long way.  
 

Right now hot houses are not having open houses here, they are having sealed bids accepted without even doing any showings.  So it would be really hard right now!!!!!!!!

Right, exactly, although around here there are interior pictures and sometimes you can figure out somethings from them.

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On 7/31/2021 at 12:09 PM, SanDiegoMom said:

We bought our house last February.  Our house value according to both Zillow and Realtor.com are now 230k and 190k more, respectively.  Insane.   

 

Edited by MooCow
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Y’all got me curious, so I looked up our house.  I know home prices have gone up I’m the 4 years since we bought ours, but my jaw dropped when I saw Zillow’s estimate at more than $100k more than we paid for it.  No way would it sell for that much more right now.  The other 2 were closer to what it might actually sell for, although still a little high.

 

Edited by athena1277
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I checked all three for my mom's house. They were within 10k of each other in a low cost of living area. I know it was hard to find comps for it when she bought about 5 years ago. I think the estimate is a little low, considering what smaller homes with less features having been selling for lately. 

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8 hours ago, Lecka said:

Right now hot houses are not having open houses here, they are having sealed bids accepted without even doing any showings.  So it would be really hard right now!!!!!!!!

There are fewer than usual here, too. As it was, lots of communities have strict rules about them anyway. Mine only allows 1 open house per 6 months or 1 year or something like that, and requires a permit with a bunch of hoops to jump, so they weren’t exactly standard to begin with. 
The house we had wanted the most when we were looking didn’t even have a local agent showing it. They just tossed it on the MLS and let the local agents scurry. Sigh. But that was over the winter when the pickings were even slimmer than now.

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My house has a $300K spread, z-r-realtor high to low.  This market is insane.  I checked neighbor houses and there is -100K -200k diff which I do not believe for one second 

 

to tell you how insane is this market, the estimate on all is +25% in one year

im not saying they are wrong…it’s just nutz.  

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I wouldn't dwell on that choice alone if I were you. There are plenty of other estate agents . I have worked for them myself and I want to tell you that there are a lot of nuances in this job. If I were you, I would read their CVs before contacting an agent. When I was working, I made myself a great CV with this service resumeedge.com/samples/real-estate-manager-resume-sample. I'll tell you honestly, not all realtors have it at all, I think for nothing. Because it makes a lot of sense.

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On 7/31/2021 at 9:44 AM, TexasProud said:

No, it was sold by the builder who had lived in it for 2 years. We are the 2nd owner. But once again, that was back in 1997.

You can hardly expect them to keep track of things that happened in the 1900s 😄

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8 hours ago, katilac said:

You can hardly expect them to keep track of things that happened in the 1900s 😄

If it's in the digital property history - it's there.

we're also in a crazy market.   dd is ecstatic as the house next door to her - which she NOT FONDLY refers to as "the frat house" (because of the four guys with their very loud parties), is pending.  

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